Business Law

Forming Limited Liability Companies (“LLCs”) in South Carolina


When starting a business, you must choose whether you want to incorporate, form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or form another type of unincorporated business structure, like a limited partnership. There are many benefits of forming an LLC vs corporation, but there can still be challenges you face during the LLC formation. Our business lawyers at Harvey and Battey can advise small businesses whether an LLC is the best choice for your business, how to proceed with LLC formation in South Carolina, and more.


Although an LLC is the simplest business structure, and does not require you to file an annual report in SC, there are still many steps required to form an LLC in South Carolina.

  • Name Your LLC

There are two rules to consider when naming your LLC. Your name must be distinguishable from other businesses within South Carolina, and your business name must contain “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “Limited Company,” or “LC.”

  • Appoint a Registered Agent

Once you’ve decided what to name your LLC, your next step is to appoint a registered agent to handle legal documents. Your registered agent must be a South Carolina resident or business. 

  • File Articles of Organization

LLC formation in South Carolina requires filing Articles of Organization, which much include:

– The LLC’s name and designation

– Main LLC address

– Name and address of registered agent

– If the LLC is member-managed or manager-managed

– Effective date of the Articles of Organization

– Term end date of LLC if applicable

– Names, addresses, and signatures of LLC organizers

  • Draft an Operating Agreement

Though an operating agreement is not legally required for an LLC formation in South Carolina, it is something we recommend to everyone forming an LLC. Your operating agreement should describe the business structure, name responsibilities and obligations of LLC members, and provide details on how the LLC will run.

  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

If you are not a single-member LLC, you must obtain an EIN from the IRS. This is necessary to open business bank accounts, file tax returns, pay income tax, and more. 

  • Register with South Carolina’s Department of Revenue

Certain LLCs are required to register with the South Carolina Department of Revenue. An experienced business lawyer can advise you on if your LLC is required to register with the state’s Department of Revenue.

  • File Your Beneficial Owners’ Information (BOI)

As of 2024, most business entities must submit a BOI report to FinCEN. Businesses formed in 2024 have 90 days to file their BOI, and those formed in 2025 and beyond have 30 days from formation to file.


When comparing an LLC vs a corporation, it’s important to remember that one is not “better” than the other, but there are differences to consider. Incorporated businesses are inherently more complex but retain higher market “legitimacy,” can split corporate income, and are able to issue stock to entice investors and employees. LLCs must report profit and loss on the owners’ individual tax returns and are not able to issue stock.

An LLC is less complicated regarding taxes and provides more flexibility, but if you’re planning for your business to grow quickly and possibly go public, a corporation may be the best route. Your lawyer can help you better understand how these differences could affect your business, advise whether an LLC vs corporation is the best choice for your business, and help you with the process of forming an LLC or a corporation.


The experienced team of business lawyers at Harvey and Battey include William B. Harvey, III, Thomas A. Holloway, J. Samuel Scoville, Eugene Parrs, Kevin Dukes, and Austin Blake. Our team has over 100 years experience helping businesses with LLC formation in South Carolina. Schedule your free consultation with one of our trusted attorneys to discuss LLC pros and cons for your business.


Q: Do I need a lawyer to start an LLC in South Carolina?

A: LLC formation in South Carolina does not require you to use a lawyer; however, there are many ways in which a business attorney can be helpful throughout the LLC formation process. An experienced business attorney can help with the extensive paperwork required and can act as your business’s registered agent.

Q: Does South Carolina allow single member LLCs?

A: Yes, South Carolina allows you to register a single member LLC, but it can only have one owner.

Q: What are the benefits of having an LLC in South Carolina?

A: There are many benefits to LLCs in South Carolina, including the ability to choose from flexible taxation methods. Additionally, limited liability means LLC owners’ personal assets are protected from business liabilities.

Q: What are the risks of owning an LLC in South Carolina?

A: Although an LLC is a simple business structure compared to incorporation, there are some drawbacks associated with an LLC. Absolute liability protection is not given to LLC owners, and they may also be subject to more burdensome paperwork and fees than other unincorporated structures. Additionally, LLCs cannot retain profits in the same way as a corporate entity.

Schedule a Consultation with a South Carolina Attorney

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For more information or to discuss your case with a business law attorney at Harvey & Battey, call (843) 524-3109 or click the button below to contact us online.